Boyd Auctions — A Good Place For Fresh Merchandise

A merganser decoy by George Boyd fetched $4,025.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — A late afternoon country sale in a gallery where the catering features terrific Greek food simply can not be beat. Boyd Auctions of Eliot, Maine, features all of that and more: it is a good place to buy fresh merchandise; there are no phones, no Internet, plus a ten percent buyer’s premium. Best be early — the Greek food does sell out quickly.

Boyd’s April 23 auction packed the Jarvis Center in Portsmouth where everyone settled in for a good evening. The sale was replete with interesting finds for the band of loyal bidders who come from the coast extending from Portland, Maine, to Boston.

Boyd Auctions is a family affair — while John Boyd was not present due to recent knee surgery, Maureen Boyd was assisted by their son Colin, in from New Zealand where he lives, and nephew Matt Bourgeois, whose mother is area dealer Barbara Bourgeois. Sisters Maureen and Barbara are part of the McInnis family of antiques dealers and auctioneers. Their brother, North Hampton, N.H., auctioneer Paul McInnis, was on hand as well.

A merganser decoy on stand by George Boyd (no relation) of nearby Seabrook, N.H., said by some to have been among the very best decoy makers and wildfowl miniaturists of all time, was a highlight at $4,025. The bird came from a house in Seabrook, the town where Boyd spent his entire life. A pair of ducks by upstate New York carver Ken Harris sold for $220, as did another pair of upstate birds. A pair of Mason’s decoys sold for $110.

A carved gray jade cup came from an area estate and sold for $3,850.

Good Civil War material crossed the block to the great delight of savvy bidders. Civil War lots included a lot of 11 Civil War cartes de visite that sold for $660. Other paper included a roster of the First Company Heavy Artillery, N.H.V., stationed at Fort Constitution in Portsmouth Harbor and commanded by Charles H. Long, together with a recruitment certificate, also from Portsmouth. The lot sold for $220. A signed Civil War-era photograph of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard drew $83. A Civil War saddle sold for $183, and a western saddle brought $110, while a German World War I saddle was $44. A lot of material relating to the Thresher, the Portsmouth-based nuclear submarine that was lost 50 years ago, sold for $88.

Other militaria included a lot with the odd combination of a cased Purple Heart and a Ku Klux Klan membership medallion that sold for $138.

Military pins were of interest as one tray lot of Civil War medals was a good buy at $495, while another of assorted medals brought $358 and a third that included pinbacks and a cap brought $121.

Two weapons of interest were a light cavalry saber that sold for $165 and an English hanger sword that was also $165. Both swords came from a collector of Civil War material.

Several large groups of Waterford stemware were offered. Three tray lots of about 60 pieces in the Lismore pattern brought $550, a lot of 24 pieces in the Comeragh pattern sold for $303, a lot of Lismore brandy snifters and a pair of candlesticks sold for $165.

A 24-inch Daum Nancy sloop was signed and went for $303. As Maureen Boyd offered a model of a dory with loose spars, she said, “I honestly don’t know where it was made.” Still, it realized $132. A shadow box with a clipper ship realized $248.

A collection of books by novelist Sara Orne Jewett, a native of nearby South Berwick, Maine, brought $132. Auctioneer Boyd said after the sale that some had some condition issues and a couple were second editions.

Lighting included a green slag glass lamp on an Arts and Crafts base that brought $330, a pair of alabaster lamps that sold for $303 and a parlor lamp that brought $248.

Among the ceramic lots was a Paris porcelain center bowl that drew $688 and a 30-inch Satsuma vase that sold for $523. A Royal Bonn jardinière on stand in an allover floral pattern on a pale blue ground sold for $385, as did a Chinese Export cut corner bowl, and a Chinese Export tea pot fetched $230. A pair of French porcelain portrait vases with ormolu mounts sold for $248.

Two sets of squared off faience plates, which the consignors said they bought in 1965 in Quimper, France, fetched $110. One set was decorated with horses, the other with fish.

One group of etchings included some Japanese prints and brought $1,540 from a pleased buyer who also took a lot of Civil War mugs and a haversack for $88. A Paul Jacoulet print sold for $385. A watercolor scene of what appeared to be a young Middle Eastern man in a courtyard was signed indistinctly and was well painted. It sold for $440.

A nice banjo clock brought $715, but a banjo went for $83, while a Navajo rug sold for $275.

A four-piece painted bedroom set with a marble top dresser with mirror, a marble top commode, a bed and a chair realized $440. A walnut hall tree with a marble top was $248. A Biedermeier–Art Deco transitional style bar in burl walnut was handsome, but the veneer had split and it brought $110. A New York Empire dining table went for $220, while a set of six Empire chairs was $132, and a pretty golden oak corner stand with spindles fetched $154. A pair of black leather club chairs and a matching ottoman was $288.

A child’s or newsboy’s coaster wagon advertising F.H. Maloon Furniture, Market Street, Portsmouth, fetched $110.

Silver attracted lots of attention: a large Gorham silver tray in the Plymouth pattern sold for $2,530. A Lunt Modern Victorian flatware service was $1,870, and a flatware service in the Vauxhall pattern brought $1,403. An Arts and Crafts sterling bowl was $770, a lot of miscellaneous silver drew $578, a silver bowl with stirrers fetched $231, an English silver tea canister was $275 and an Art Nouveau example brought $165. An English silver footed ink stand sold for $523.

A camera case and tripod, along with other vintage camera parts, realized $578, and a lot of underwater photography equipment was $230.

Last, and certainly not least, was a metal typing table that — as Maureen Boyd sought bids for it, said it had been offered at the last sale but had no takers. This time, $5.50.

All prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For more information, 207-439-6641 or

Siblings, auction colleagues and competitors, Maureen Boyd and Paul McInnis are pictured just before Maureen took the podium.

A carved gray jade cup came from an area estate and sold for $3,850.

A large Gorham silver tray brought $2,530.

A 30-inch Satsuma vase sold for $523.

A roster of the First Company Heavy Artillery, N.H.V., stationed at Fort Constitution in Portsmouth Harbor and commanded by Charles H. Long, with another Portsmouth Civil War document sold for $220.

A pair of portrait vases sold for $248.

A Purple Heart medal and a Ku Klux Klan membership medallion sold for $138.

A model of a dory was $132.

A Biedermeier–Art Deco transitional style bar brought $110, perhaps because the veneer had deep splits.


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